exigency (n.) Look up exigency at Dictionary.com
1580s, "that which is needed," from Middle French exigence, from Latin exigentia "urgency" (see exigece). Meaning "state of being urgent" is from 1769. Related: Exigencies (1650s).
exigent (adj.) Look up exigent at Dictionary.com
1660s, "urgent," a back-formation from exigency or else from Latin exigentem (nominative exigens), present participle of exigere "to demand; drive out, drive forth" (see exact (v.)).
exiguous (adj.) Look up exiguous at Dictionary.com
"scanty, small, diminutive," 1650s, from Latin exiguus "small, short; petty, paltry, poor, mean; scanty in measure or number; strict," literally "measured, exact," from exigere "drive out, take out" (see exact (v.)). Compare immense "huge," literally "unmeasured."
exile (v.) Look up exile at Dictionary.com
c.1300, from Old French essillier "exile, banish, expel, drive off" (12c.), from Late Latin exilare/exsilare, from Latin exilium/exsilium "banishment, exile; place of exile," from exul "banished person," from ex- "away" (see ex-) + PIE root *al- (2) "to wander" (cognates: Greek alaomai "to wander, stray, or roam about"). In ancient times folk etymology derived the second element from Latin solum "soil." Related: Exiled; exiling.
exile (n.) Look up exile at Dictionary.com
c.1300, "forced removal from one's country," from Old French exil, essil (12c.), from Latin exilium "banishment; place of exile" (see exile (v.)). From c.1300 as "a banished person," from Latin exsul, exul.
Several etymologies are possible. It might be a derivative of a verb *ex-sulere 'to take out' to the root *selh- 'to take', cf. consul and consulere; hence exsul 'the one who is taken out'. It might belong to amb-ulare < *-al- 'to walk', hence 'who walks out'. It might even belong to *helh-, the root of [Greek elauno] 'to drive': ex-ul 'who is driven out' [de Vaan, "Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages"]
exist (v.) Look up exist at Dictionary.com
c.1600, from French exister (17c.), from Latin existere/exsistere "to step out, stand forth, emerge, appear; exist, be" (see existence). "The late appearance of the word is remarkable" [OED]. Related: Existed; existing.
existence (n.) Look up existence at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "reality," from Old French existence, from Medieval Latin existentia/exsistentia, from existentem/exsistentem (nominative existens/exsistens) "existent," present participle of Latin existere/exsistere "stand forth, come out, emerge; appear, be visible, come to light; arise, be produced; turn into," and, as a secondary meaning, "exist, be;" from ex- "forth" (see ex-) + sistere "cause to stand" (see assist).
existent (adj.) Look up existent at Dictionary.com
1560s, a back-formation from existence, or else from Latin existentem/exsistentem (nominative existens/exsistens), present participle of existere/exsistere (see existence).
existential (adj.) Look up existential at Dictionary.com
1690s, "pertaining to existence," from Late Latin existentialis/exsistentialis, from existentia/exsistentia (see existence). As a term in logic, from 1819; in philosophy, from 1937, tracing back to the Danish works of Kierkegaard (see existentialism). Related: Existentially.
existentialism (n.) Look up existentialism at Dictionary.com
1941, from German Existentialismus (1919), replacing Existentialforhold (1849), ultimately from Danish writer Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), who wrote (1846) of Existents-Forhold "condition of existence," existentielle Pathos, etc. (see existential), and whose name means, literally, "churchyard."
existentialist Look up existentialist at Dictionary.com
1945 (n.); 1946 (adj.), from French existentialiste, from existentialisme (1940); see existentialism. Related: Existentialistic.
exit (n.) Look up exit at Dictionary.com
1530s (late 15c. as a Latin word in English), originally a stage direction, from Latin exit "he or she goes out," third person singular present indicative of exire "go out, go forth, depart," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + ire "to go" (see ion). Also from Latin exitus "a leaving, a going out," noun of action from exire. Meaning "a departure" (originally from the stage) is from 1580s. Meaning "a way of departure" is from 1690s; specific meaning "door for leaving" is from 1786. The verb is c.1600, from the noun; it ought to be left to stage directions and the clunky jargon of police reports. Related: Exited; exiting.
Those who neither know Latin nor read plays are apt to forget or not know that this is a singular verb with plural exeunt. [Fowler]
Exit poll attested by 1980.
exo- Look up exo- at Dictionary.com
word-forming element meaning "outer, outside, outer part" used from mid-19c. in scientific words (such as exoskeleton), from Greek exo "outside," related to ex "out of" (see ex-).
Exocet (n.) Look up Exocet at Dictionary.com
1970, proprietary name of a rocket-propelled short-range guided missile, trademarked 1970 by Société Nationale Industrielle Aerospatiale, from French exocet "flying fish" (16c.), from Latin exocoetus, from Greek exokoitos "sleeping fish, fish that sleeps upon the beach," from exo "outside" (see exo-) + koitos "bed."
Exodus Look up Exodus at Dictionary.com
late Old English, the second book of the Old Testament, from Latin exodus, from Greek exodos "a military expedition; a solemn procession; departure; death," literally "a going out," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + hodos "way" (see cede). General sense (with lower-case -e-) is from 1620s.
exogamy (n.) Look up exogamy at Dictionary.com
1865, Modern Latin, literally "outside marriage," from exo- + -gamy. Related: Exogamous (1865). Apparently coined by Scottish anthropologist John Ferguson McLennan (1827-1881) in "Primitive Marriage" (see endogamy).
exogenous (adj.) Look up exogenous at Dictionary.com
"growing by additions on the outside," 1830, from Modern Latin exogenus (on model of indigenus); see exo- + -genous.
exonerate (v.) Look up exonerate at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from Latin exoneratus, past participle of exonerare "remove a burden, discharge, unload," from ex- "off" (see ex-) + onerare "to unload; overload, oppress," from onus (genitive oneris) "burden" (see onus). Related: Exonerated; exonerating.
exoneration (n.) Look up exoneration at Dictionary.com
1630s, from Late Latin exonerationem (nominative exoneratio) "an unloading, lightening," noun of action from past participle stem of exonerare "free from a burden" (see exonerate).
exorable (adj.) Look up exorable at Dictionary.com
1570s, "susceptible of being moved by entreaty" (a word much rarer than its opposite and probably existing now only as a back-formation from it), from Latin exorabilis "easily entreated, influenced by prayer," from exorare "to persuade" (see inexorable). Related: Exorably.
exorbitance (n.) Look up exorbitance at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from exorbitant + -ance. Related: Exorbitancy.
exorbitant (adj.) Look up exorbitant at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., a legal term, "deviating from rule or principle, eccentric;" from Late Latin exorbitantem (nominative exorbitans), present participle of exorbitare "deviate, go out of the track," from ex- "out of" (see ex-) + orbita "wheel track" (see orb). General sense of "excessive, immoderate" is from 1620s; of prices, rates, etc., from 1660s. Related: Exorbitantly.
exorcise (v.) Look up exorcise at Dictionary.com
c.1400, "to invoke spirits," from Old French exorciser (14c.), from Late Latin exorcizare, from Greek exorkizein "banish an evil spirit; bind by oath" (see exorcism). Sense of "call up evil spirits to drive them out" became dominant 16c. Formerly also exorcize; a rare case where -ise trumps -ize on both sides of the Atlantic, perhaps due to influence of exercise. Related: Exorcised; exorcising.
exorcism (n.) Look up exorcism at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "a calling up or driving out of evil spirits," from Late Latin exorcismus, from Greek exorkismos "administration of an oath," in Ecclesiastical Greek, "exorcism," from exorkizein "exorcize, bind by oath," from ex "out of" (see ex-) + horkizein "cause to swear," from horkos "oath." Earlier in the same sense was exorcization (late 14c.).
exorcist (n.) Look up exorcist at Dictionary.com
"one who drives out evil spirits," late 14c., from Late Latin exorcista, from Ecclesiastical Greek exorkistes "an exorcist," from exorkizein (see exorcism).
exoskeleton (n.) Look up exoskeleton at Dictionary.com
1841, from exo- + skeleton. Said to have been introduced by English anatomist Sir Richard Owen (1804-1892). Related: Exoskeletal.
exoteric (adj.) Look up exoteric at Dictionary.com
1650s, from Late Latin exotericus, from Greek exoterikos "external, belonging to the outside," from exotero, comparative of exo (see exo-).
exothermic (adj.) Look up exothermic at Dictionary.com
"relating to a liberation of heat," 1879, modeled on French exothermique (1879); see exo- + thermal.
exotic (adj.) Look up exotic at Dictionary.com
1590s, "belonging to another country," from Middle French exotique (16c.) and directly from Latin exoticus, from Greek exotikos "foreign," literally "from the outside," from exo "outside" (see exo-). Sense of "unusual, strange" in English first recorded 1620s, from notion of "alien, outlandish." In reference to strip-teasers and dancing girls, it is attested by 1942, American English.
Exotic dancer in the nightclub trade means a girl who goes through a few motions while wearing as few clothes as the cops will allow in the city where she is working ... ["Life," May 5, 1947]
As a noun from 1640s, "anything of foreign origin," originally plants.
exoticism (n.) Look up exoticism at Dictionary.com
1827, from exotic + -ism.
expand (v) Look up expand at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "spread out, open out, spread flat, extend widely;" also transitive, "cause to grow larger;" from Anglo-French espaundre, Old French espandre "spread, spread out, be spilled," and directly from Latin expandere "to spread out, unfold, expand," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + pandere "to spread, stretch" (see pace (n.)). Related: Expanded; expanding.
expanse (n.) Look up expanse at Dictionary.com
1660s, from Latin expansum, noun use of neuter of expansus, past participle of expandere "to spread out" (see expand).
expansion (n.) Look up expansion at Dictionary.com
1610s, "anything spread out;" 1640s, "act of expanding," from French expansion, from Late Latin expansionem (nominative expansio) "a spreading out," noun of action from past participle stem of Latin expandere "to spread out" (see expand).
expansionist (n.) Look up expansionist at Dictionary.com
1874, American English, in reference to money policy; by 1884 as "one who advocates the expansion of the territory of his nation," from expansion + -ist. Related: Expansionism.
expansive (adj.) Look up expansive at Dictionary.com
1650s, "tending to expand," from Latin expans-, past participle stem of expandere "to spread out" (see expand) + -ive. Meaning "embracing a large number of particulars, comprehensive" is by 1813. Related: Expansively; expansiveness.
expat (n.) Look up expat at Dictionary.com
1962, shortening of expatriate (n.).
expatiate (v.) Look up expatiate at Dictionary.com
1530s, "walk about, roam freely," from Latin expatiatus/exspatiatus, past participle of expatiari/exspatiari "wander, digress, wander from the way; spread, extend," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + spatiari "to walk, spread out," from spatium (see space (n.)). Meaning "talk or write at length" is 1610s. Related: Expatiated; expatiating.
expatiation (n.) Look up expatiation at Dictionary.com
1610s, noun of action from expatiate.
expatriate (v.) Look up expatriate at Dictionary.com
1768, modeled on French expatrier "banish" (14c.), from ex- "out of" (see ex-) + patrie "native land," from Latin patria "one's native country," from pater (genitive patris) "father" (see father (n.); also compare patriot). Related: Expatriated; expatriating. The noun is by 1818, "one who has been banished;" main modern sense of "one who chooses to live abroad" is by 1902.
expatriation (n.) Look up expatriation at Dictionary.com
1767, from French expatriation, noun of action from expatrier (see expatriate).
expect (v.) Look up expect at Dictionary.com
1550s, "wait, defer action," from Latin expectare/exspectare "await, look out for; desire, hope, long for, anticipate; look for with anticipation," from ex- "thoroughly" (see ex-) + spectare "to look," frequentative of specere "to look at" (see scope (n.1)).

Figurative sense of "anticipate, look forward to" developed in Latin and is attested in English from c.1600. Also from c.1600 as "regard as about to happen." Meaning "count upon (to do something), trust or rely on" is from 1630s. Used since 1817 as a euphemism for "be pregnant." In the sense "suppose, reckon, suspect," it is attested from 1640s but was regarded as a New England provincialism. Related: Expected; expecting.
expectancy (n.) Look up expectancy at Dictionary.com
1590s, from Medieval Latin expectantia, from Latin expectans (see expectant) + -ancy. Related: Expectance.
expectant (adj.) Look up expectant at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French expectant or directly from Latin expectantem/exspectantem (nominative expectans/exspectans), present participle of expectare/exspectare "await, desire, hope" (see expect). Meaning "pregnant" is by 1861. Related: Expectantly. As a noun, "one who waits in expectation," from 1620s.
expectation (n.) Look up expectation at Dictionary.com
1530s, from Middle French expectation (14c.) or directly from Latin expectationem/exspectationem (nominative expectatio/exspectatio) "anticipation, an awaiting," noun of action from past participle stem of expectare/exspectare (see expect). Related: Expectations.
expectorant (n.) Look up expectorant at Dictionary.com
in medicine, 1782, from Latin expectorantem (nominative expectorans), present participle of expectorare (see expectorate). From 1811 as an adjective.
expectorate (v.) Look up expectorate at Dictionary.com
c.1600, "to clear out the chest or lungs," a literal use of Latin expectoratus, past participle of expectorare, which in classical use was figurative, "scorn, expel from the mind," literally "drive from the breast, make a clean breast," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + pectus (genitive pectoris) "breast" (see pectoral (adj.)). Its use as a euphemism for "spit" is recorded by 1827. The classical Latin figurative sense appears in English 17c. but is now obsolete. Related: Expectorated; expectorating.
expectoration (n.) Look up expectoration at Dictionary.com
1670s, noun of action from expectorate.
expediate (v.) Look up expediate at Dictionary.com
a 17c. error for expedite that has gotten into the dictionaries.
expedience (n.) Look up expedience at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., "advantage, benefit," from Old French expedience, from Late Latin expedientia, from expedientem (see expedient). From "that which is expedient," the sense tends toward "utilitarian wisdom." Meaning "quality of being expedient" is from 1610s. Related: Expediency (1610s).
expedient (adj.) Look up expedient at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "advantageous, fit, proper to a purpose," from Old French expedient "useful, beneficial" (14c.) or directly from Latin expedientem (nominative expediens) "beneficial," present participle of expedire "make fit or ready, prepare" (see expedite). The noun meaning "a device adopted in an exigency, that which serves to advance a desired result" is from 1650s. Related: Expediential; expedientially (both 19c.).
Expedient, contrivance, and device indicate artificial means of escape from difficulty or embarrassment; resource indicates natural means or something possessed; resort and shift may indicate either. [Century Dictionary]